According to Billboard's "Top 40 Country Hits," Eddy Arnold is THE top country artist of the modern era. During his lengthy career, Arnold placed 92 (!) singles in country's Top Ten. Even so, Arnold today receives short shrift not only from contemporary country fans but also from aficionados of the genre's classic age. Like his contemporaries Marty Robbins and Jim Reeves, Arnold sings too prettily to suit modern tastes, which favor the grittier sounds of Hank Williams Sr., George Jones, and Willie Nelson. Ironically, Arnold has more to do with the sound of contemporary country than any of these men. His countrypolitan crooning laid the groundwork for Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, and LeAnn Rimes.
PURE GOLD provides a slight (it's just over 20 minutes long) introduction to this country master, featuring a number of Arnold's signature tunes: "Just A Little Lovin'," "Cattle Call," "What's He Doin' in My World?," and "You Don't Know Me" among them. RCA has released many such hits packages for Arnold, all more or less interchangeable, although PURE GOLD is briefer than most. Those seeking a more comprehensive introduction should consider THE ESSENTIAL EDDY ARNOLD.